Things didn’t go exactly as planned, but we got Luke out for his first swim this week, and he did quite well. Best of all, he had a lot of fun. Earlier in the week, my hubby and I took all three dogs for a walk down the rail trail to the river, which is about a 1 mile walk from our house. He had no trouble following his sisters right into the water, and we threw some sticks into the deeper part for them to chase. We had a long leash on him, and watched closely to be sure he wouldn’t get scared or have trouble. He was a bit hesitant when he first felt it getting deeper, but it didn’t really phase him too much.
We weren’t at all surprised when he got into the deeper water and attempted to swim! He needs to refine his technique a bit, his front paws were coming up out of the water and splashing, but he had the right idea. We are sure with more practice that he’ll be an expert in no time! Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of him actually swimming, because I was just enjoying watching him, and thought I could get more photos when we took him again. That’s where things didn’t go as planned.
We planned an outing for Thursday to Gardner Memorial Wayside Park, a place I visited last spring with my sisters and some of our dogs. It’s a nice spot with a picnic area, a short walk to an old mill site, and a 1/2 mile walk through the woods to Butterfield Pond. The plan was to hike to the old mill site, the pond, and then come back for a swim in the river and a picnic. It went mostly as planned, but was a bit hectic. We tried to come up with the best plan possible for leashes, and we had Luke and Cricket on a coupler, and Sheba on her own. They kept getting tangled around each other though, and Luke would chew on anything that came close to his mouth in the process. The girls have never been well trained at walking, they walk great on their own, but when they’re together they both want to be in the lead.
The pond looked nice but unfortunately was very mucky at the edge, so we let them cool off in there but didn’t spend much time. On the way back, Luke ended up chewing through the extension on his harness and got loose! Thank goodness his recall is halfway decent now, and we were able to still figure out a way to use the harness (he had a collar on as well so we could have used that too, but I always worry about them slipping out of those).
We went back to the picnic area, and they really needed the clean river to wash off the mud from the pond and other muddy areas on the trail. We put the longer leashes on Luke and Cricket, and let Sheba off leash for swimming. Unfortunately, Sheba wasn’t sticking with us and kept distracting Luke by wandering off so it was kind of a zoo. Cricket loves the water and will go in to cool off, but will only swim if we throw a ball. With the three of them it was just a bit out of control, so Luke got a bit of actual swimming but not a lot. He did have a blast just splashing around in the water though!
But next thing I knew, his harness had started coming off and was wrapped around his leg so we had to fix that (while doing that, Sheba decided to come up behind me and somehow splashed me, soaking my glasses so I could hardly see!). Finally, my hubby came to help (he was wandering the river bank trying to take photos and letting Cricket sniff around). The harness didn’t take well to getting wet I think, and he had also chewed another part of it at some point!
That put an end to our adventure, and I never did get any good photos of Luke swimming with all the commotion; we decided that it will probably be best to take him alone while he learns! We need to get a better harness too, this is actually the second harness of this type that he chewed through. I have another one to try, of the same type we use for the girls.
At least it’s only the beginning of summer, so we’ll have plenty of time to take him out more, and at some point I’ll get some photos of him swimming! We all got some good exercise yesterday, even though things didn’t go very smoothly. These were our first outings with all three dogs and we’ll get it all figured out soon (I hope).
We are happy to be joining our blog hop hosts SlimDoggy, Peggy’s Pet Place, and To Dog With Love. Please visit their sites and others through the links at the end of this post to learn more about keeping your dogs fit and happy!
Also, please be sure to visit #5 on the list – it is my guest post on SlimKitty, the 2nd part of my story of how we got our cat Samantha fit!
2 brown dawgs says
Looks like the dogs had fun anyway. You got some nice pictures. I would be very careful about swimming a dog with a harness. There is so much there that can get snagged on a harness or collar. Maybe you could take a flat buckle collar and change out for swimming? They make plastic collars (like the kind that we use on out ecollars) that do not stretch too much in water and are more safe than say a nylon collar. All collars when swimming make me nervous, but the plastic ones, a little less so.
Thanks so much for the advice, Linda. I never thought about the harness getting snagged, and that could especially happen when the nylon ones stretch out when wet. I’ll definitely have to look for the ones you mentioned, I know I saw some waterproof ones somewhere, just need to remember where!
Nailah Bone says
Oh man, sounds like you really had your hands full! I can’t believe Luke was able to chew through his harness, that’s pretty impressive (and scary!). I’m glad the pups enjoyed their trip and that nothing bad happened. 🙂
My hubby says Luke must have razor sharp teeth to chew through those things so easily! Yup, things could have been far worse, luckily we always keep their collars on as well, and I usually bring spare leashes as well (from now on I sure will, and maybe a spare harness too!).
This sounds like some great summer adventures! My humans are going to help me figure out if there is a swimmer me me this year. Our local YMCA has these doggie pool days when humans can go into the pool with their dog and my dad is going to go there with me. Wish me luck, maybe I’ll be like you all soon!
Oh, that sounds like great fun!! Good luck, Bunk, hope you do well and most of all that you enjoy it!
Sand spring chesapeakes says
Lots of fun and exercise. I just love this time of year to finally b able to let the dogs swim. Have a great weekend
We’re going to try and make the most of the time we have this summer, and get them out there more. Sheba just loves it and I know it’s so good for her with her arthritis.
Great pictures, looks like everyone had a great time. Swimming is an all time favorite at my house!
Almost all of our dogs have loved swimming. We used to take them more when we camped and there was a pond and river right there at camp. I really miss the convenience of that!
I remember the summer Küster learned to swim! I’m actually glad he learned the basics that spring, because in the summer he had terrible pano flare ups and the vet would prescribe two weeks of crate rest. We understood it was because he wasn’t supposed to jar the bone during the flare up, and also that we were going to go insane with a high drive puppy in the house who was confined to a crate with no exercise. So, we took him to the lake almost every night, which completely saved our sanity and his bacon!
Swimming is such wonderful exercise for them, and it sounds like it definitely saved the day for you and Kuster!
M. K. Clinton says
That sounds like one of our adventures with only two dogs! haha! I’m sure next time will work out better! Great shots though and I’m sure they had fun. : )
They did have fun….it was really only the humans who had a bit of a rough time…LOL.
Peggy's Pet Place says
It looks like everyone had fun swimming. There’s nothing like cooling off with a nice “brook walk” as we call it in Vermont.
Oh, I like that “brook walk” – that’s the perfect name for what we did!
Golden Woofs: Sugar says
WOW 3 dogs on an adventure. PAWsome and Lots of FUN! Sugar will WOOF WOOF WOOF if she’s on a leash … she likes to be in the water. Golden Woofs
Oh yes, Sheba too, as soon as she sees any water, she wants to go that way!
Mark at DBDT says
What a summer adventure. With all those mishaps it still sounds like a really good time. Hopefully there are plenty more sunny days to come so you can get those swimming photos.
I know the dogs still had fun, I’m just not sure the humans did! 🙂 Our weather has suddenly turned much cooler lately, but hopefully it will warm back up again soon. Not that the dogs care, but since the humans usually somehow get wet as well…..
Dolly the Doxie says
Good job learning to swim Luke! I think he’d do better swimming with his mates and learn from them. But what do I know? I hate to swim! Love Dolly
I think you are right, Dolly, and that’s why we wanted to take him with the others! But our girls tend to want to take over the show, so to speak. I actually think we’re going to try him with just Sheba next time and see how they do together.
You are like our beagle Kobi was, he’d put his feet in but that was it!
Been there, done that…3 dogs, by myself. It’s nuts! But fun. 🙂
Well, you’re a professional, Sheryl, so you’re probably way better at it than we are! 🙂
Looks like a great time was had by all. Ours have no interest in water.
Out of the 7 dogs we’ve had over the years, we’ve only had one that didn’t like the water!
I had to laugh as I read this. We only have two and our water adventures are like this, I can’t imagine three and one of them an inquisitive pup. Kudos to you!
If only my hubby had a better sense of humor about it! He kept saying we shouldn’t have brought a puppy with the other two girls. Heck, Luke behaved better than the girls did, other than chewing on his harness…LOL. So I’m not sure it’s going to happen again!
Taking three dogs on an outing takes some practice as I found out, but soon you will function like a well-oiled machine.
Yes, our problem is that we don’t practice enough! I do hope that we can get to that point some day though.
Tenacious Little Terrier says
What kind of harness are you using? When we had Onyxx, the two dogs usually walked nicely together… except for when it rained. Onyxx would trudge at the back look all forlorn and Mr. N would be like let’s go!
I’m surprised any dog could keep up with Mr. N….he is a go getter! The harness we had was a Sporn mesh harness. It seemed comfortable for the dogs and was easy to put on. But it’s obviously not tough enough for a puppy who likes to chew. Our problem is that we didn’t really train the girls to walk well – our own fault. We’re trying not to make the same mistakes with Luke, and we need to work with the girls as well.
It looks like all the pups had fun, even if things didn’t go as smoothly as planned! I’m impressed that you can handle three leashes at all, tangled or not! Every now and then, I’ll manage two with Barley and my parents’ dog, but even that is a challenge for us!
Well, it certainly wasn’t easy! Do you ever see those dog walkers on TV walking like 8-10 dogs? Does that really happen….LOL?
Diane @ To Dog With Love says
Wow! That was an adventure! All this talk of swimming sure makes us want to find a place we can swim soon! Happy FitDog Friday!
Diane and Rocco
I would love to live on a lake or river…the dogs would be in heaven, and it would be far easier on us! 🙂
Mom understands the trials and tribulations of three on leashes. We finally have a system down, but Katie is so slow it makes it really hard. Can’t believe Luke is such a chewer. Bailie chewed her leash in the office the other day, but that is the first time she has ever done something like that. Sometimes it is better to just take one or two of us along at a time.
Your Mom always seems to do so well with walking all three of you, Emma, and getting photos too, she amazes me! I hope Luke outgrows the chewing, and if we take him by himself it’s easier to stop him too. My hubby says he must have razor sharp teeth to chew through things so fast! I mostly do separate walks, we got in that habit because Kobi was so much slower. Luke is actually kind of pokey too, so we thought taking him with his sisters would speed him up (and it mostly did). I just hate leaving one behind, but we will probably have to do that sometimes.
Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady says
Yep…..that all sounds SO familiar!!! It is much easier to take one or two dogs at a time, rather then 3. 3 just seems to put it a bit over the top, and then it’s not enjoyable for anyone. I feel ya! I am going to try really hard this summer to get Koda and Lexus in the water for a swim. Mika loves water, but the other two seem scared of it. I have been reading a bit about how to help them overcome the fear though, so hopefully soon!
And of course on top of your day, the harness breaks! haha!!! That is such a typical day!!! Grrrrrr!!!! Again I say, I feel ya!
Oh and I love your new share buttons!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
Thanks…I’m still not happy with my share buttons, but one of these days I’ll get what I really want!
I’m so glad it’s not just us that have trouble with 3 dogs, and then have everything else go wrong too!
Kobi has been our only dog that didn’t like water. Our golden retriever Moses would go in, but he wouldn’t actually go out over his head and swim like his sister! But we didn’t take him often enough or he might have gotten used to it. I wished we had tried harder. Hope you get yours out and have fun…just don’t try all 3 at once…LOL.
Good summer fun. Our dogs love to swim daily.
It’s such great, low impact exercise for them, and they love it!
Oh my, I can just envision this as I’ve done the leash dance myself many times. 🙂
Sampson’s not a big swimmer, but Delilah is. Sadly there aren’t many places around here to take her. And I’m not sure of her technique either because she makes a lot of THUNKING noises, but she does love it.
Glad it’s not just me! I’ve been walking the dogs individually most of the time so had forgotten how much fun the leash dance can be (not).
We have a few different places we can go swimming, so that part is nice, but we try to go to quiet places so we can let Sheba off leash.